If you’re dreaming of scaling your business, and attracting and converting more of your ideal clients and customers, there’s really no better way (IMO ♀️) than to get busy blogging for your biz!
Or creating video or podcasts, or whatever your content marketing strategy…
But if you’re new to it all, it can be hard to know just how to make the most of all that content you are creating!
Including which mistakes, big or small, will hamper your progress and have you wanting to throw in the towel on content creation altogether!
So in today’s post, I’m sharing the 8 biggest blogging mistakes I see new (and not-so-new) businesses making on their blogging journey!
P.S. If you know me, you know I’m a Squarespace gal through and through, but the good news is that these blogging tips apply to WordPress and other blogging platforms too!
Say you’re a real estate agent who wants to increase traffic to your new site.
You’ve heard blogging works, so you sit down and rattle off a bunch of blog topics that you think would appeal to a wide variety of people, so you can hopefully get more people in the door.
‘The best summer recipes to enjoy with friends’
‘15 funny dog memes to brighten your Monday’
‘My top 10 favorite women-authored books.”
You might be an incredibly talented writer, and have a super charming personality to boot…
And the people who are Googling ‘funny dog memes’ aren’t looking for houses. (They are looking for funny dog memes. ♀️ )
So how do you put your new blog to work and actually attract your target audience, or the people who would be interested in buying what you’re selling?
So if our hypothetical real estate agent from above lives in Colorado, they might write:
‘Average home prices in Colorado in 2021’
‘Top 10 safest cities to live in in Colorado’
‘Moving to Colorado? The home-buyers step-by-step guide’
‘6 best neighborhoods for families in Denver, Colorado”
Think of words and phrases your ideal client would be most likely to type into a Google search or search engine when they are trying to solve a problem related to your industry.
Then get busy blogging about that!
What if I told you the whole point of blogging was not actually about getting people to read your posts?
Nope! The main purpose of creating all this content is actually this…
Get people to your site.
Tell them exactly what action to take when they get there. (rather than just reading your post and peacing back out to Google search land.✌️)
Your call-to-action (or CTA, if you want to get fancy) does just that!
They’ve already expressed an interest in your topic by clicking on your post, so capitalize on that interest with some enticing next steps like downloading your super-relevant, highly valuable freebie, or booking a free consultation.
“Subscribe to my newsletter” is not a next step, and it’s doing nothing for your email list or email marketing goals.
In fact, it’s pretty much an invitation to ignore whatever else happens on the page after that point.
Whether it’s scrolling the ‘Gram, or getting sucked into the latest thread on reddit, we’ve all fallen prey to the internet rabbit hole at some time or another. ♀️
So why not make your website the most likely place that will happen!?
Say you’re a professional organizer, and someone has just found your blog after typing “how to keep shoes organized in my closet” into a Google search.
They read your post, make a mental note to try tip #9, and then get ready to head back to their search results.
But then they glance at your “read more” section and spot your post about “The perfect way to fold your bulky sweaters.”
Pretty soon the amount of time they have spent engaged with your blog has doubled.
Internal backlinks (linking to your own related content) isn’t just about making your content more binge-able.
It’s also about putting older content in front of fresh eyes.
Some of the best content I’ve ever created is going on 2-3 years old now, and it would be a shame if new readers never knew about those golden oldies I worked so hard to create.
Linking to your own content throughout your posts and at the end of each post will help drive traffic to the forgotten areas of your site, and increases overall page views and visitor duration (read: how many pages one person visited and how long they stayed)…two metrics the Google gods happen to love!
And they keep your posts working for you, long after they’ve left page 1 of your blog feed.
Tough love moment: Blogging (or really any type of content creation) will not work if you are only posting once a month, at a date or time that suites you.
There’s a handful of things Google is gunna want to see happen before they can start sending search traffic your way…
And one of those things is that you are consistently creating high-quality content.
Google cares about their users and where they are sending them.
So in order to make your blog look safe, and like a promising place to always get answers, you need to start publishing on a predictable schedule.
But this doesn’t mean you have to sit around hovering over the publish button every Tuesday at 06:00 hours!
I love to batch a bunch of posts and schedule them in advance!
That way, rain or shine, Google and my loyal readers are getting a post as promised.
Oh, and since the information on your actual website pages (home, about, contact, etc.) probably doesn’t change all that much, fresh blog content is really the only reason for someone to bother coming back for a return visit.
A content calendar is basically just an overview of what you plan to cover in upcoming blog posts.
Batching in advance like I mention above will actually help with this, since you won’t be trying to come up with blog post ideas the night before they are meant to go live.
Instead, you can be strategic about what you are publishing and when, based on the goals you have for your business in that season.
For the 30-60 days leading up to that course launch, my focus really needs to be one topic and one topic only: content creation.
This makes darn sure that my audience will have already started dreaming about what having killer content could do for them…
Making them more likely to be ready to invest in leveling up in that area of their business!
There have been just a handful of times in my business where I wasn’t able to have content planned and prepared in advance like I hoped, and so my strategy went out the window….
And let me tell you…it showed.
Organic traffic plummeted, newsletter subscribers were dropping like flies, and sales revenue was, well…just sad.
So no more blogging for the sake of blogging!
If you want your blog to actually go to bat for your business, look at your goals for upcoming months, and create a content calendar that supports them.
Perfect example of this:
So my assistant Dean has just bought her first property and has been researching the best way to build riding arena for her horses.
She was reading up on arena dust control (a real problem in dry Montana summers) and through the “read more” section at the bottom of a blog post, stumbled upon a post with the following title:
‘Another one bites the dust.’
But tell me…how is someone who didn’t already have arena dust control on the brain supposed to know what that blog post is about? Or that it even has to do with horses at all?
For all we know, it could have been advertising housekeeping services (or a seriously poorly-worded obituary).
When it comes to your blog titles, play it safe, and let your readers know exactly what to expect to see when they click on your link!
ie. Top 10 tips for controlling dust in your outdoor riding arena
Notice how this post you are reading is broken up into sections with clear headers/titles?
Now imagine this same post (all 2000+ words of it) were all just one big long wall of text?
Nobody (like, no-bod-y) has the kind attention span it takes to read that post.
And all the knowledge-bombs you’ve just dropped would go totally unappreciated!
So whether your post is 500 words or 5000 words, build a better user experience by breaking it into sections with clear headings/titles, so that even the person who has just 60 seconds before their next meeting starts can glean something useful from your post.
Oh, and speaking of post length…
So there’s two people out there creating content on the same topic: ‘Should I become a vegan?’
One of them has written a 500 word post and the other has written a 2000+ word post.
Which one do you think has put together a more compelling, well-researched, and informative argument on the topic?
The longer form post, right?
Google wants to help users find legit answers, so even if you can fit a solution into 500 words or less, blogging probably isn’t the right platform for it!
And since the tiny robots who run the internet can’t technically read, at least in the way we can, it’s going to assume that your 500 word blog post is too short to contain any real useful information.
This does not mean running out and stuffing in 1500 extra fluff words just to pad your idea, but rather finding ways to give your readers a more complete picture!
Not only will your readers stick around your blog longer (signaling to Google that you clearly have something worth sending people to) but you’ll also naturally rank for more of your niche’s SEO (search engine optimization) keywords when you aim to write more comprehensive posts!
Hello, page 1 of Google!
Not that you can’t be repurposing your awesome content for a shorter social media caption after!
But when it comes to blog optimization (making it easier for Google to find you), and getting more blog traffic sent your way and ultimately being able to monetize your blog, a long form post will always perform better.